(Oct. 2, 1931 - Oct. 10, 2009)
Anthony Joseph “Tony” Rodriguez, 78, died Oct. 10 at his home in Frannie.
He was born on Oct. 2, 1931 to Louis Rodriguez and Jenny Terraciano in Hazelton, Pa. After graduating from high school, he served with the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. In 1952, he married Helene Wansik, and together they raised a family of two daughters and two sons in Levittown and Morrisville, Pa.
Tony was an energetic and industrious worker. He was a brake specialist, and with his friend and partner, Warren Ferguson, he eventually opened a wholesale auto parts store. Their business flourished, but, on a family vacation to Idaho in 1973, Toney was so impressed with the grandeur of the West, he sold his share of the business and moved his family to Pocatello, Idaho.
Helene died suddenly in 1975, and Tony started a new career as an insurance salesman. In 1981, he married Josephine Lobdell. They bought a home in Flathead Valley, Mont. and later moved to the Big Horn Basin.
Tony loved to hunt and fish. In Montana, he was a hunter safety instructor and was a founding member of the Bigfork Gun Club. He especially looked forward to pheasant season, when he would spend long days in the field with his beloved hunting dogs.
He was an active member of his church and served on many councils. He was a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus and a life-long member of the National Rifle Association. He endured his final illness with fortitude and grace.
He is survived by his wife, Jo; daughters Cynthia Usog (Alex) and Kim Buckingham (Brian); a son, David; stepsons Laurence Lobdell and Alex Lobdell (Gloria); stepdaughter Fiona Ostler (Bill); sister Silvia Smith; 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Tony was preceded in death by his first wife, Helene: son Anthony Rodriguez, Jr.; stepson Gregory Lobdell; and a sister, Ana Maria Holbrooks.
A funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Lovell, with burial following in the Deaver Cemetery.
Donations may be sent to Powell Valley Hospice. Arrangements are being handled by Thompson Funeral Home and Crematory, and online condolences can be sent to the family at www.thompsonfuneral.net.